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Alex Barnett (Champagne Mirrors, Oakeater, SCRAPES Recordings) and Faith Coloccia (Mamiffer, Mára) developed a friendship based on a fascination with the world just outside the limit of our understanding - the world where magic and mystery hold equal footing with science. On their third collaborative album VLF, the duo draft a soundtrack to the mapping of the unknown realms in both their private lives and the communal world around them. It’s a premise embedded in the album title, an acronym for Very Low Frequencies which help capture the oscillations of dark matter, as well as a misspelled nod to the VLA radar banks in New Mexico which serve to chart out the cosmos. This fixation on scientific pragmatism finds a creative parallel in the duo’s left-brain explorations of early electronic music, although the bigger influence in Barnett & Coloccia comes from the gaps in our understanding, where instinct drives our behavior and unseen forces impose their will on our surroundings, where certain frequencies inexplicably yield an emotional resonance and, conversely, subconscious impulse finds an analog in sonic patterns. These right-brain tendencies may conjure the minimalist mantras of 20th century classical music at one turn and the expressionist disorder of textural sound design at the next.
VLF is ultimately a document of two artists channeling their shared wonderment with unseen worlds into a sensory experience in the form of musical composition.